Is packing something that you absolutely hate doing? If you're anything like me, it often takes the joy out of taking a vacation.
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But it doesn't have to be such a chore if you know how to pack and what to bring.
Read on to discover the ultimate packing tips for traveling to Ireland on a budget or anywhere for that matter.
In a previous post, I detailed the various airlines that are flying to Ireland and what they offer, and depending on what options you choose will also determine the kind and amount of luggage you bring with you.
If you’re like me, you may want to bring anything and everything with you on your trip to Ireland.
Don’t do it. Instead, follow the guidelines below and you'll be an expert packer in no time.
There are at least three things you should consider before packing for your budget trip to Ireland. They include:
- The time of year you are planning to visit Ireland and what the weather is typically like at that time (yes, I know, Ireland's weather can be unpredictable!)
- How many outdoor activities you'll be doing, such as walking, hiking, kayaking, swimming, and so on.
- How much luggage do you actually want to take with you?
Packing for Ireland's Changeable Weather
Even during the summer months, Ireland is not exactly hot.
Unlike most regions in the U.S., where summer actually means high temperatures along with humidity, Ireland has a more temperate climate that lends itself to changeable conditions.
But don't be put off by this, the weather in Ireland is never extreme and if you keep an umbrella handy and wear the appropriate clothing, you'll be all set.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t get hot occasionally.
Ireland enjoys heatwaves from time to time, much to the delight of everyone across the country and it seems during the late spring/early summer each year, a warm and sunny spell makes Ireland's fabulous scenery even more beautiful. This is also common in September.
This video on Ireland’s unpredictable climate may give you some insight.
Now that you know what the climate is like in Ireland, it should be easy to pack, right? Well, not exactly.
The Irish Weather Year-Round
However, there may be specific times when you want to visit Ireland, such as Christmas or Saint Patrick’s Day.
If so, pack accordingly and check the temperatures online before leaving. In fact, it's wise to check Ireland's weather service before you go at any time of year as it will determine what you pack.
Temperatures in Ireland
Generally speaking, the temperatures in Ireland during specific times of year are as follows:
Spring months (February, March, and April)
Ireland’s spring is quite cool, although it has been known to get warm in April.
Be sure to layer up and include rain gear, such as the North Face Venture 2 Jacket, among your clothing.
Temperatures average between 7 and 13 degrees Celsius (between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit).
Summer months (May, June, and July – this is when many tourists visit Ireland)
This is the warmest time of the year in Ireland with temperatures averaging between 15 and 21 degrees Celsius (60-70 degrees Fahrenheit).
This may be cool for some, especially those coming from the hot, humid states of the U.S.
Travelers from the northwest (Oregon, Washington State, and even Northern California) will adapt well, as will tourists traveling from Alaska and some parts of Canada.
Fall (Known in Ireland as “autumn” – August, September, and October)
The weather is usually comfortable during the fall months, with beautiful foliage evident in many parts of Ireland.
A fleece jacket is advisable if visiting at this time of year. Temperatures range between 13 and 18 degrees Celsius (between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit). You'll find a variety of men's and women's fleece outerwear at the North Face.
Winter (November, December, January)
You’ll experience dampness during this time in Ireland, so pack accordingly. Heavier coats, hats, scarves, and gloves are advisable. Temperatures average around 7 degrees Celsius (47 degrees Fahrenheit).
Traveling in Ireland can be a wonderful experience but only if you bring the proper gear with you.
Plan Ahead When Packing for Your Budget Trip to Ireland
Planning ahead is one of the key ingredients to successfully packing for your budget trip to Ireland or anywhere, even if it's just a short distance away from your home.
In addition to weather considerations, as mentioned above, if you're attending a special event while on vacation, you'll also need to factor in the type of clothing and accessories you'll need for that and what type of bag to bring.
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A less expensive option is the American Tourister luggage with spinner wheels that sells for less than $90.
When it comes to choosing a backpack, I have no reservations recommending the REI CO-OP backpack, which is the one that I regularly use when I'm traveling to Ireland and other countries in Europe.
My husband and son have used this over their years of scouting and it has served them well.
In addition, you can fit an amazing amount of stuff in it without the backpack feeling overly heavy since the straps are well-made and provide great support for the back.
What you choose depends on how you intend to travel around Ireland or any other destination.
When placing items in your case or backpack you should roll them rather than fold them. This is particularly important when packing things into a backpack.
Other Packing Tips for Traveling to Ireland
Pack What You Need – Only pack what you will really need and limit the number of same-category items. I often make a list of things I plan to bring and tick them off as I pack them into my bag.
A good rule of thumb is to only pack one week's worth of clothing. Most hotels have laundry facilities or you can find a local laundrette in the town or city you're staying in. If you are staying in a rental property, there's a good chance that laundry facilities are on-site.
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Use Packing Cubes – My husband, the ultimate boy scout, has been packing his socks and underwear in Ziplock bags for years.
Me, I prefer to use packing cubes for those items. You can choose from a variety of packing cubes on this page. They typically cost between $15 and $20.
Bring a Small Backpack for Daily Use – Even when I'm traveling with my REI backpack, I still bring a smaller backpack with me that I can use as a daypack. It's usually big enough to hold a bottle of water, a snack or two, my phone, and other bits and pieces I pick up along the way.
I love my LLBean Stoway backpack, which I've had for years and has been my day pack of choice during many a trip to Ireland.
Suitable Clothing for Ireland – Choose the right clothing for your vacation in Ireland.
I suggest packing a raincoat or windbreaker, warm socks, water-resistant walking shoes or boots, if you'll be hiking a lot, jeans or other casual pants, one or two nice outfits for going out to dinner, in addition to short and long-sleeved shirts/tops.
What to Bring in Hand Luggage – When it comes to toiletries, be sure to purchase travel-size items (3.4 ounces or less) beforehand. Otherwise, the larger versions will be confiscated by the TSA.
Do you have any additional packing tips for traveling to Ireland that you'd like to share? If so, include them in the comments below.